In referring to ‘high performance motors’, we are referring to some aspect of electric motors that exceed normal industrial purpose motors: high speed, high torque, high power to weight ratio. In this discussion, I will be focusing on high speed motors for applications such as centrifugal compressors and high power to weight ratio, large machines as would be suitable for aircraft propulsion. Along the way I have a few ‘war stories’ of mistakes in design, made by myself as well as other motor designers. I will discuss some of the elements of motor design and how they can lead to high performance. Halbach arrays have been discussed and I will describe my misgivings about them, and will discuss as well winding schemes and, briefly, cooling. I will also describe, as I understand them, a pair of experimental machines under construction in the US, demonstrating technology suitable for aircraft propulsion motors.
James L. Kirtley Jr. is of Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was with General Electric, Large Steam Turbine Generator Department, as an Electrical Engineer, for Satcon Technology Corporation as Vice President and General Manager of the Tech Center, as Chief Scientist and as Director Dr. Kirtley was Gastdozent at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich (ETH).
Dr. Kirtley attended MIT as an undergraduate and received the degree of Ph.D. from MIT in 1971. Dr. Kirtley is a specialist in electric machinery and electric power systems. He served as Editor in Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion from 1998 to 2006. Dr. Kirtley was made a Fellow of IEEE in 1990. He was awarded the IEEE Third Millennium medal in 2000 and the Nikola Tesla prize in 2002. Dr. Kirtley was elected to the United States National Academy of Engineering in 2007. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Massachusetts.